Personal note: Hmmmm. Not what I experienced at all. Alister even stopped to pull someone out of the hole they'd driven into, on his way home.
Stirring up the mud
Last updated 08:33 24/02/2011
Wading home through stinking and often knee-deep liquefaction on Tuesday after the quake, I noticed what a selfish lot we are when it comes to our cars.
Despite often having six empty seats, I noted that no 4x4 owners were going to stop to offer rides to us mere pedestrians.
No, instead, they revelled in driving as fast as traffic would allow them, creating a wake that would flood ostensibly dry properties, often looking like a convoy escort destroyer at full steam, while the owners took on that teeth-gritted hunter-gatherer look, curiously avoiding eye-contact with walking road users, despite calls of "tosser" and "slow down you w**ker!"
In the end, after displaying a very convincing copybook case of osmosis, with my pants soaking up a liquefactive stain until I was mud-grey from ankle to crotch, I was given a lift by a delightful wee fellow in a Mazda 323 sedan, who passed me a green Christian visiting card and said I wasn't to worry about getting mud on his seats, "it was an old car", he said.
But the 4x4 owners were a worry. Here was a chance for them to shine in the face of other motorists and create some positive publicity for the much-maligned SUV, that perceived profligate tool of the middle classes, bought often not because of their intrepid practicalities but more like a wheeled gated community. Rolling protection, you might say.
But no, not only did they stuff it for owners of low-lying homes, they zoomed in random flotillas through, between and around often heavily laden city workers as they trudged soggily home often 10km or more from their probably ruined place of work.
I did 8km and I'm sure that had the roles been reversed I would have picked people up, just to help.